Thursday, June 9, 2011

Things I have learned to save money

According to some of the news headlines the "recession" may not be over yet and the economy is slow to recover, and there is some talk of a "double-dip" recession.   

There are ways you can protect yourself.  The secret is what you are prepared to do, give up or do without.

In one of my previous posts we have learned to live on one salary (not by choice). 
Here's my list (not in any particular order) of ways we have learned to cut back, but still enjoy life.

1)      Learned about phantom power - installed power bars - electricity savings
2)      Changed light bulbs to LED or CFLs - electricity savings
3)      Use the library instead of buying books
4)      Installed low flow shower head in shower, as well as one for kitchen sink to save on water bill
5)      Installed a low flush toilet - more savings on water bill
6)      Stopped using the dryer for drying clothes.  Instead hang laundry inside and outside on a clothes line - more electricity savings - plus less wear/tear on clothes makes them last longer. (see my post on "Simple Laundry”)
7)      Regularly review all utility bills to see what we can change to reduce bills further.
8)      Save rain water for watering plants inside and garden - (free water)
9)      Heat with wood in fireplace in winter to cut heating costs (see my post on "Simple Heating")
10)  Subscribed to various blogs such as "The Simple Dollar", "Get Rich Slowly", "Simply Frugal" to keep me focused.
11)  Read books on personal finance.  Re-read "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robins & Joe Dominguez every year.
12)  Cut out unnecessary add-on's to cable TV/internet/telephone.  These little extra charges can add up quickly (consider cutting out TV altogether)
13)  Started a vegetable garden and grow as much as I can (see my posts on “Simple Garden”, "As My Garden Grows" and “Simple Winter Garden – Growing your own indoor winter garden”)
14)  Take vacations at home
15)  Look for free entertainment (borrow DVDs from Library, go for picnics/walks, hikes, etc)
16)  Do my own taxes (ie don't pay someone else to do them for me)
17)  Stopped colouring my hair (it's not healthy anyway)
18)  Try and "buy nothing" for a month, or 2 or 3 (except essentials)
19)  Simplify meals - go meatless a couple times a week.
20)  Cook from scratch (it's healthier for you)
21)  Build meal plans around what is "on sale" at the grocery stores
22)  “Brown bag” work lunches, and bring my own coffee/tea to work.  I carry with me health snacks when out on errands or when I know I'll be home past a meal time so I'm not tempted to buy something.
23)  Use slow cooker more often, use oven less (electricity savings)
24)  Stock up on items when on sale, use coupons (but only for items I would normally buy)
25)  Shop 2nd hand first before buying new
26)  Mend it or make it when I can
27)  Reduce or re-use
28)  Learning to forage (Foraging is the act of searching for food - finding edible wild plants).  This year have made jelly from dandelions, and honeysuckle.  Picked garlic mustard (soon to be another post) for use in soups and stews.  Check out a wonderful blog on foraging …. for some great ideas.  (see also my post on the Simple Dandelion)
29)  Keep healthy – regular exercise (see my post on “Simple Exercise”)
30)  Simplify my life (see post on my Journey to Simplicity)

I’d love to hear about ways you have saved money.  Post your comments.


  1. I love, love, love this blog. :-) I'm a knitter/crocheter/forager, too. Great ideas here. I just wrote about water conservation up at mine:

  2. Just found your your blog and this is a great post. Forraging and learning all I can about herbs is my goal for the year. Dandelion jam is on my list for this week. 8-D


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